I naively purchased some of the new Berger 200.20X hybrid bullets for 308 Winchester. The BC is so attractive that I thought I'd give them a try.
I say naively because these things are LONG! The ogive is the longest I've ever worked with. Because of the shape, the COL needs to be really long to get them close to the lands.
Trying to seat them so that I can develop a series of loads to optimize jump is a real challenge. My bullet seating die isn't even close to long enough to allow seating the bullets at the Berger recommended start point 0.015 off the lands.
I'm reloading for a Remington 700 and have been loading 175gr conventional bullets with no issues. It didn't occur to me that I'd have trouble seating this bullet.
Does anyone have experience with these - or hybrid bullets in general? It sure looks like I need a recommendation for a seating die for this bullet.
Factory 700's have incredible long throats, so to start off if you are trying to stay a certain jump from the lands, you get to a point where the bullet is barely seated and still not be there.
Take a different route. Are you willing load single fire to get the most out of the bullet/ gun? If you are, resize your brass, and lay a bullet so that the boat tail (not the base) lines up with the neck junction. Do this on a towel so the bullet and brass do not roll around. Measure the OAL (overall length). Load a dummy round (no powder. no primer) to this length. From he sounds of it, this should have no problems chambering, but still check.
If you are loading to box/ magazine length measure mag length and make a few dummy sound to make sure they function loading from the magazine, and that will determine OAL.
Now, down the road, you can rebarrel the gun, and truly dial it in for a certain bullet, but Remington's throat lengths are typically measured in hundreds of an inch, not thousands.
Nut up or Shut up!
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You didn't tell us which seating die you are using.
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Thanks for the replies
I've been using a Dillon seating die. Works fine for traditional loads.
I concur that the throat of my Remington is long. When the bullet is at the lands, there's only about 0.070" of the bearing surface seated in the case. I'll start another 0.015 deeper but don't expect to use that 0.085 depth as my final depth. Obviously I need to be careful with concentricity.
I'm definitely not limiting COL to magazine length.
These bullets want to be seated long so magazine length isn't really an option. Single shot will be the way these are used.
I was able to try a Redding competition die today. It cannot be backed out far enough to allow seating at full length. I know I can back the die out of the die holder to allow the bullet to be seated less deep but that way I lose case and neck support as the bullet is seated.
The long term plan is to shoot out the stock Remington barrel and replace it with a Bartlein or similar but until then, I'll work with what I have and learn as I go.
Redding makes a special seating stem of the long VLD bullets. Saw it in there catalog the other day. And most will make one to match your bullet.
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